A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new." Dalai Lama

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Atyrau Day 1

Well I had planned to leave Ban Muang on Sunday morning. However an email arrived Friday afternoon with my ticket details. 10.30am Saturday morning depart Bangkok. It's a 7 hour flight. So first it's an over night bus Friday night from Khon Kaen to Bangkok and then taxi to the airport and off with first stop being Almarty. We arrived in Almarty while it was still light. Looking out the window I could see a line of mountains with what I guess was snow on the tops.

Lovely view but it was followed with an 8 hour layover...  I was supposed to be booked into a hotel but the hotel driver did not turn up. Not really an issue. Watched a lot of sport on the box. Seems here they over boxing, ring fighting, judo etc etc you name it including Muay Thai boxing.... Drank coffee as I dreaded the thought of missing the connecting flight.
Anyway flight to Atyrau departed on time. I had when booking in at Bangkok been told my baggage would go straight through. And I was given my second boarding card in Bangkok as well. Even so I did before getting on the last flight check my baggage was on the flight.  I was assured it was. Interesting as I have come from Bangkok and gone through Immigration and customs in Almarty. On arriving in Atyrau I collected my bags. No Custom or Immigration. Everybodies baggage appeared to have had a hard journey. Seasoned local travellers all had their bags plastic sheet wrapped. I was therefore getting worried waiting my my two bags. Would they arrive and if they did in what state..... One was a soft holdall type containing cloths but the other hard cased and contained my guitar. Both arrived OK but the banding I had put on my guitar case had been torn off as had the 'Fragile" signs... Unbelievable...

But things were looking up. This time I was met at the airport and taken to an apartment block. Very nice.

View form the room shows a very flat landscape. No distinguishing features visible. And all low rise buildings.

I needed some coffees and a few bits to eat. But it was only 6.30 am so not much open... I took a walk down the road and on a back street found a small supermarket open.  The place had everything I could possibly want. Also reminded me very much of the "Tops" supermarket in Khon Kaen. So as far as cooking meals and eating at home I think I'm sorted.

Initial impressions of Atyrau.  Flat, cold in early morning, that's relative to Bangkok... The place seemed deserted and basic, walking down the road most of the building had few interesting features.

That said, I am not sure exactly where I am, probably in a residential area.  The people at the airport, Apartment block and in the supermarket were friendly and smiled. Even had a small chat with one of the customers. Although getting off the plane was a bit of a scrummage. Definitely every man and woman of themselves....
Strangest thing was watching the grass being cut at the central reservation to the road. It was only 08.00am in the morning. % guys with petrol mowers. Weird. Almost, well not almost it made we take a second look....

Lets see how next few days go.... Yes, I just realised that I know what's missing, dogs. Have not seen any dogs. I'm so used to seeing strays in Thailand that here the absence seems a bit weird.... :)

Just for interest what you see in photo below coast 12 USD or 8 pounds...Not to bad I suppose.First off I'm going to close this post and go make a sandwich. 
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